Hurricane Preparedness: Essential Steps for Florida Residents

Dated: May 25 2023

Views: 1275

Introduction

Living in the Sunshine State comes with its fair share of risks, particularly during hurricane season. With Florida's proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, it is no stranger to the destructive force of hurricanes. Therefore, it's essential for Florida residents to be well-prepared and equipped to handle these natural disasters. In this blog post, we will outline crucial steps to ensure your safety and minimize damage during hurricane season.

When you’re a homeowner protecting your biggest asset is important. There are things you can do to protect your home during hurricane season.

 

Stay Informed

One of the first steps in hurricane preparedness is staying informed about the weather conditions. If you’re not a native Floridian hurricanes can feel very scary and the news doesn’t help. Follow local channels, instead of national news. Local news doesn’t blow things out of proportion and gives you honest information. Our favorite is Denis Philips, we don’t freak out until Denis does and he usually doesn’t.

 

Here are his 7 rules for Hurricane Prep:

1. Storm track errors past 3 days can be HUGE. Don't get caught up on forecasts that far out. You'll go crazy.

2. Models flip-flop back and forth all the time. Look for trends, don't look at individual model runs

3. If you didn't prepare in June (which you probably didn't), do so now. Check your hurricane kit and guide to see what YOU and your family need.

4. Don't freak out. 

5. Don't freak out. Ok? We live in Florida. It goes with the territory. The odds of a storm affecting us directly are usually low.

6. If things get bad, KNOW that we will be there will you 24-7. You're going to hear a ton of information. It can get confusing. Stick with us. We won't steer you wrong. 

7. Stop freaking out...until I tell you to. We're fine.

 

Sign up for emergency alerts through text messages from your local county or city to receive timely information about approaching storms, evacuation orders, and emergency procedures.

 

Here’s where you can sign up for emergency alerts by county:

Register for Alert Pinellas - Pinellas County

Alachua County Ready | Home

Hillsborough County - HCFL Alert

Alert Manatee: Sign up for Emergency Alerts - Manatee County (mymanatee.org)

Lee County

Develop an Emergency Plan

Create a comprehensive emergency plan for yourself and your family. Determine evacuation routes, establish a safe meeting point, what to bring if evacuating, and assign responsibilities to each family member. Knowing your evacuation zone can be found on your county's or city's website.

Consider the needs of elderly family members, individuals with disabilities, or pets in your plan. Review and practice your plan regularly to ensure everyone knows what to do during an emergency.

 

Prepare an Emergency Kit

Assemble an emergency kit well in advance of hurricane season. The kit should include essential supplies such as non-perishable food items, drinking water, a first aid kit, prescription medications, flashlights, batteries, cash, important documents, and personal hygiene items. Aim to have enough supplies to last at least three days for each member of your household.

Secure Your Property

Protecting your home is vital in minimizing potential damage during a hurricane. Trim trees and remove any dead branches that could become projectiles in high winds. Reinforce doors and windows with hurricane shutters or plywood. Clear gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage. Secure or bring indoors any outdoor furniture, garden equipment, or other objects that could be picked up by strong winds.

 

If you do not have storm shutters there are ways you can secure windows and glass doors as well. There will usually be local pick-up pots for sandbags to help with flooding.

Review Insurance Coverage

Review your homeowner's insurance policy to ensure you have adequate coverage for potential hurricane damage. Understand the terms, deductibles, and exclusions of your policy. Consider additional coverage for flood insurance since standard homeowner's insurance policies typically do not cover flood damage. Document your belongings through photographs or videos as evidence in case you need to file a claim. Store these photos and videos in a cloud backup like Google Drive or Dropbox in case your phone gets damaged or lost during the storm.

Evacuation Planning

If evacuation orders are issued, follow them promptly. Prepare a "go bag" containing essential items from your emergency kit, including important documents, identification, and valuables. Secure your home by turning off utilities and locking doors and windows. Follow designated evacuation routes, and be aware of any available emergency shelters.

 

Stay Safe During the Storm

If you choose to stay in your home during the hurricane, ensure that you are in a safe, interior room away from windows. Stay informed through battery-powered radios or other communication devices. Avoid using candles for lighting and use flashlights instead to reduce the risk of fire. Do not venture outside until the authorities have declared it safe to do so as standing water can have hidden dangers as well as road closures and downed power lines or trees.

Conclusion

Hurricane preparedness is crucial for Florida residents to protect themselves, their families, and their properties during the storm season. By staying informed, developing an emergency plan, preparing an emergency kit, securing your property, reviewing insurance coverage, planning for evacuation, and staying safe during the storm, you can significantly mitigate the risks associated with hurricanes. Remember, preparedness is the key to weathering the storm and recovering more quickly in its aftermath. Stay safe and be prepared!

Here at Next Home South Pointe, we are your neighbors so if you ever have questions or concerns during hurricane season please do not hesitate to reach out or stop by our office. #humansoverhouses

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